In the coming year, HR will see tremendous opportunities bringing and repositioning the function's value proposition as a business leader and builder of competitive workforce capabilities.

FREMONT, CA: The pandemic has led to a digital transformation and changed the employee-employer relationship. Despite HR's leading role in change and crises in the past years, it runs the risk of missing an opportunity with this fundamental shift in how employees work. In the coming years, HR is likely to witness a window of opportunity to reposition the function’s value proposition in the post-pandemic reality. Human resources professionals had played a significant role in guiding organisations through the challenges of the pandemic and subsequent inflation surge and economic slowdown. As a result, if properly enabled, HR can have a huge impact on businesses. This has led to new and existing trends shaping the workplace in the future as a result of the drastic changes that organisations had to make.

Focus on Total Wellbeing

There is a silent crisis happening in firms due to the negative impacts of work-related stress in the wake of the pandemic. HR has been impacted, and the function played a leading role during the pandemic, which has taken its toll. This trend will increase employee accountability for the looming burnout crisis across the board. Although this goes against the nature of human resources, which should focus on helping others, HR professionals should follow precautionary measures, or the department will fail to help the organisations. Moreover, HR will move towards a more proactive approach to wellbeing and resilience, involving developing a more holistic employee wellbeing strategy focusing on mental, physical, and financial well-being.

Managing Workforce Ecosystems

Since HR has traditionally focused on permanent employees, other types of workers such as contractors, gig workers, and staff working for supply chain partners, play an integral role in a company’s service delivery. However, a huge part of the total temporary workforce is unmanaged, and HR is missing out on an opportunity to make an impact. In the coming years, HR managers are expected to manage the complex workforce ecosystem beyond permanent employees.

Redefining Remote and Hybrid Work Strategies

The way of working has changed during the pandemic, with digital transformation speeding up in organisations and workers radically adapting to it. However, flexible working will put businesses at a competitive disadvantage to some degree. Companies should realise this and replace outdated strategies that are not applicable in the current scenario as new patterns such as hybrid working become a part of modern work culture.

Employees want clear communication and modernised policies and expect HR practitioners to set clear principles about how, where, and when work is done. They will enable internal conversations and push their companies to make decisions by exploring different workplace strategies. HR professionals will educate themselves and managers on overcoming proximity bias, a tendency to favour employees in the office over remote workers. Furthermore, HR is likely to become more hybrid and explore remote work. There is a leading role for HR to enable better outcomes with remote working.

It is time for HR to step up and capture the opportunities they bring, repositioning the function’s value proposition as a leader of the business and a builder of competitive people capabilities.